opinion

How to Buy Google and Facebook Traffic

Nigel Williams

‘Wait a minute! Isn’t this an adult industry publication?” Of course, your eyes don’t deceive you.

“Why are you talking about buying mainstream traffic with Google and Facebook? You know they don’t allow adult!” You are absolutely right. However, this article isn’t for people who are only concerned about adult traffic.

This article isn’t about me and my journey; it’s about sharing with you the valuable lessons I’ve learned. So hopefully, you can crush it in mainstream.

This article is for people who have made a decision to, or are thinking about making money with mainstream offers — especially for the upcoming holiday season.

I’ve spent just about 11 years in digital marketing — six of those years in adult. In the last year, I’ve formed my own agency and started to focus on two types of mainstream traffic acquisition: media buying and inbound marketing. Let me tell you, it took a while to find the right teams to rock ‘n’ roll in both of these activities.

Media buying (also known as outbound marketing) is best for products or services that give immediate results. Most people in adult are quite familiar with acquiring traffic in this manner.

Inbound marketing is best for products or services that give long-term results. Most people in adult know very little about this form of traffic acquisition as it’s not very useful for most adult businesses. I’ll talk to you more about inbound marketing in a future article.

For today, we will focus on media buying — specifically with Google and Facebook — the two undisputed heavyweight champions of mainstream traffic.

This article isn’t about me and my journey; it’s about sharing with you the valuable lessons I’ve learned. So hopefully, you can crush it in mainstream.

Over the years, I’ve noticed two important trends amongst successful web entrepreneurs: education — they keep it current; execution — they do it fast, even if it’s not perfect.

When it comes to media buying for mainstream, what if you can do it fast and perfect? “Whoa Nigel, what are you talking about?”

Before I get into the solution and why I believe in it, let’s use some stats to paint a picture of how massive the mainstream digital landscape is:

• Total digital ad spending in 2017 is projected at $77.37 billion, approximately 38 percent of total ad spending — surpassing TV ad spending for the first time.

• Global digital ad spending is on a growth trajectory and expected to reach $252.02 billion by 2018.

• Google handles more than 1.2 trillion web searches a year.

• Facebook boasts more than 1.55 billion monthly active users.

Ok, you got the picture? Good!

“Nigel — enough already! How do we crush it with Google and Facebook?” My answer: outsourcing! Get the right agency to buy the traffic for you!

Now most successful webpreneurs from the adult world have a hard time to accept this answer at first. Why?

Most of them have built themselves and their companies by developing their skills and technology in-house. Most adult web entrepreneurs: had to! So many innovations came from the adult world because solutions didn’t exist for what they needed to do. Surely going into mainstream can be successful with the same “do-it-yourself” mind! That’s not what I’ve seen. I know of a few adult companies who have recently jumped into mainstream and are using agencies.

Let’s look at some of the most important reasons why you shouldn’t buy from Google and Facebook on a medium to large scale by yourself.

Resource management

Mismanagement of resources can be extremely detrimental to an organization’s bottom line and often leads to budget overages and spells project failures. The same is true in the case of advertising campaign projects. Considering advertising costs typically comprise the largest proportion of a company’s marketing budget, investing (often limited) resources into smarter media buying is vital. Successful media buying requires a laser-focused approach which is often lacking from in-house teams. I’ve seen many companies with media buyers that also have social media responsibilities. These companies are not crushing it with their media buys!

Broad market insight

Comprehensive knowledge into the various aspects of a campaign, including trends that may drive or negatively impact sales is crucial. In-house media buyers rarely have access to data outside of their own products and service; consequently, it becomes difficult for them to spot and react to trends as fast as an agency can. For instance, if a company’s media buy for a product starts to show poor results, an in-house buying team may find it difficult to pinpoint the issue. It could be a problem specific to the company/product; or the traffic source itself.

Big data insight

Similarly, access to vast amounts of data means agencies are able to make quicker and more accurate decisions with greater ease than in-house buying teams. Such adept decision-making is especially important when dealing with the promotion of high-risk verticals like dating, gambling, binary options, forex and video-on-demand. Additionally, access to granular data gives agencies key insights to target specific audiences, which is essential for; user profiling, fine-tuning your targeting and to re-market intelligently. You should seek agencies that have their own ad servers in order to take advantage of big data.

Specialized tools

In general, most companies do not allocate development resources (or allocate very little) to serve their media buying or marketing teams. Such resources are typically funneled to building their core product — this makes business sense; after all, what good is advertising if there’s no product to sell? Thus to adequately serve both needs, outsourcing media buying responsibilities to an agency that is fully equipped to focus on developing customized ad serving with complex algorithms, tracking tools and performance indicators—is a major plus.

Team scalability

Securing the hire of specialized media buyers can be painstakingly time-consuming and challenging — particularly in remote locations. Agencies give you the opportunity to rapidly scale up and down without the client having any human resource management headaches. I mentioned before that one of the successful traits of webpreneurs is to execute fast. Can you hire all the right people faster than hiring an agency?

National and international expertise

Having an agency with years of national and international expertise on hand is extremely beneficial. It would be almost impossible to replicate such a formula in-house without a significant investment in time and human resources.

Cost

An outsourcing agency worth their salt can save organizations up to 25% on marketing spend. Quite often, the price-performance ratio is incredibly difficult to match with an in-house team.

“Ah screw it Nigel, I’ll just rely on affiliates to send me mainstream traffic”

If you do that, you are missing out on four important opportunities, such as:

Cost efficiency and risk mitigation

Assuming most CPA/CPL programs are built to payout 2-3 times the customer's first transaction in order to attract affiliates – direct sales and marketing cuts the middlemen out which reduces the cost of acquisition and makes it less risky to realize profits on the first sales instantly instead of relying on subsequent sales from the client.

Retargeting

It’s a powerful tool but it’s use is very limited with affiliate traffic. With direct sales, retargeting becomes a viable and strong option. The ability to cross-sell and upsell existing customers often leads to a 30 percent ROI lift on existing traffic sources when strengthened with retargeting. Research has shown that it is 50 percent easier to sell to existing versus new customers.

Overall reach

Affiliates and partner sites have their own audience defined by what they are good at. With direct sales, there is no audience out of reach or traffic limitation. As long as you are achieving your desired ROI, there is plenty room to scale up.

Brand protection

Quite often, I’ve seen companies that do not engage in their own media buying; they allow affiliates to buy search engine traffic with bidding on their trademarks. Why let affiliates bid on your tradenames with Google? Affiliation by definition is a partnership where the affiliate brings added value to the table to promote your brand. Brand capturing or even pirating means no added value to you, just inflates your acquisition prices. Isn’t it better to prohibit affiliates from buying this traffic and buy it yourself?

Conclusion

Some may argue that media buying is a straightforward process that virtually anyone can do on their own. However, very few can come close to the performance provided by a dedicated agency using specialized tools and staff that have years of experience.

Research has shown that organizations who smartly opt to outsource their marketing with the right media buying partner gain 5-25 percent in sales revenue, realize a 25-35 percent reduction in salaries plus overhead costs. Wouldn’t you want some of that added to your bottom line?

If you are looking to cash in on mainstream offers this holiday season, you better start moving! It takes six to eight weeks to optimize new campaigns. Don’t miss out!

Nigel Williams is the founder and CEO of DigiWorld Partners, a digital marketing agency. You can follow Nigel on Twitter @DigiNige or his blog on DigiWorldPartners.com.

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